Football
Bundesliga

Bundesliga Five Truths: Haaland’s brilliance is encouraging him to tempt fate

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Dortmund's Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland (C) celebrates with his teammates their victory 4:0 after the German first division Bundesliga football match BVB Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04 on May 16, 2020 in Dortmund, western Germany as the season r

Image credit: Getty Images

ByAlexander Netherton
17/05/2020 at 17:55 | Updated 17/05/2020 at 19:31

Erling Haaland was again in the headlines for his displays on and off the pitch as the Bundesliga made its return to the pitch and to our screens.

Erling Haaland may want to wind his neck in

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After another goal, and another win for Borussia Dortmund as they tonked Schalke on Saturday, Erling Haaland gave a notable interview after the match. One word answers, grinning with his own excellence. He is just 19 and few people at that age have poise and humility, but he may be creating a rod for his own back down the line.

When he inevitably hits a rough patch, professional or personal, there may be a reluctance to support him if he continues his surly and aloof approach. Obviously he is a brilliant footballer, but Real Madrid may see his attitude, look to his handler Mino Raiola, and wonder if it is really worth the hassle.

'We knew we had the support at home' - Haaland on Dortmund fans

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Bayern stroll on

Benjamin Pavard’s header 10 minutes from time was enough to settle any doubts over the result between Bayern Munich and Union Berlin. The home side were kept at arm’s length for most of the match, and the away side needed a penalty just before half-time to go ahead.

Lewandowski on target as Bayern return with victory

Bayern were far from brilliant, and failed to match the heights that Borussia Dortmund produced in their game on Saturday. But they stay top with three more points and are inching towards the title. The enforced break may have given them time to forget their experiences under Niko Kovac and allowed them to focus on the task at hand.

Benjamin Pavard of Bayern Munich celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates during the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Union Berlin and FC Bayern Muenchen at Stadion An der Alten Foersterei on May 17, 2020

Image credit: Getty Images

Ramy Bensebaini could be on the move again

Borussia Monchengladbach annihilated Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon, demonstrating why they are in contention for a Champions League spot when the Bundesliga is finally completed or resolved in some fashion. At the heart of their success was not just the goal threat of Alassane Plea, but Algerian defender Ray Bensebaini.

At 25, he has already had five professional clubs, in Algeria, then to Belgium, France and now Germany, moving from Rennes last summer for eight million euros. He looks like a potential bargain on this showing, assisting the opening goal and converting a penalty to score himself.

He can play in midfield, the centre of defence and at left-back, and it is easy to see how he may eventually move into a more attacking role on the flanks, and is a solid presence at the back as well as an offensive threat. Arsenal were linked to him last summer, and the German club may be tempted into a quick sale given the impact of the coronavirus.

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Matheus Cunha dances through the defence

Matheus Cunha may be another player in demand in the near future. The 20-year old Brazilian came from South America via Sion and RB Leipzig before pitching up at Hertha Berlin, and on Saturday added his third goal in just five appearances as they ran out 3-0 winners in their game at Hoffenheim.

The technique and trickery to evade three defenders and slalom into the box was one of the moments of the weekend, and the remaining weeks of the season give him the chance to make a name for himself at his new club.

The quickest way to goal may be the shortest

Mainz battled back from two goals down to rescue a point in Cologne. Battled in terms of spirit and commitment, but that can’t be used to describe their equalising goal.

  • Mainz roar back in second half to hold Cologne

Midfielder Pierre Kunde saw an opening when he was 40 yards from goal. Instead of using the space to line up a shot, he simply moved forwards, into the gap. He then added another couple of yards, another and then another. Nobody moved towards him, and seconds later he was able to coolly fire home. Next time, Cologne might want to try defending.

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